Fish oil supplements are like the coconut oil of vitamins; they seem to help with practically everything. A new study led by the universities of Glasgow and Aberdeen has found these supplements can even increase women’s quality of life into old age.

Researchers discovered that taking omega-3 supplements could improve muscle function in older women, preventing unnecessary falls and loss of independence later in life, Medical XPress reported.

The research team carried out an 18-week resistance exercise training plan, and measured participants’ muscle size, muscle function, and calculated muscle quality — which is force produced relative to muscle size — both before and after the program.

Results showed men who were taking 3g of fish oil supplements did not experience any extra gains in muscle size, function or quality. Meanwhile, after 18 weeks, women who were taking the same amount of the supplement experienced increased muscle function, but not size, compared to the females in the placebo group.

“With the percentage of people aged over 65 predicted to rise from 17 percent, of the total population in 2010, to 23 percent in 2035, it is crucial to develop effective treatments for the age-related loss of muscle function,” explained researcher Dr Stuart Gray, according to Medical XPress.

“Findings of a benefit in women are particularly important as women tend to live around four years longer than men and cross the ‘disability threshold,’ where functional abilities are lost, 10 years earlier than men," he said.

Fish oil pills can also be referred to as omega-3 vitamins, because the supplements are a rich source of the two essential omega-3 fatty acids, Andrew Weil, MD, reported on his website.

Source: Da Boit M, Sibson R, Meakin JR, Greig CA, Aspden RM, Speakman JR, et al. Sex differences in the effect of fish oil supplementation on the adaptive response to resistance exercise training in older people: a randomized control trial. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2016.

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